The Philippines is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, and foreign companies are doing everything they can to take advantage of its English-speaking workforce.
At the same time, the middle class is rapidly expanding, and demand for imported goods is increasing. Companies are increasingly seeing the Philippines as a lucrative market for both offline and online sales.
Naturally, there is a greater demand in the Philippines for trademark registrations. As we both know, entering a foreign market without adequate protection can be dangerous and costly.
Trademark Registration Process
Applicant needs to fill up the form provided by the Intellectual Property Office of The Philippines (IPOPHIL), at the Bureau of Trademarks and it can be written in English or Filipino. Applications under multiple classes are possible.
A foreign applicant needs a local agent to file a trademark at the IPOPHL. A signed Power of Attorney is needed to appoint the local agent. However, if a foreign applicant has a real and effective commercial establishment in the Philippines, there is no need to appoint a local agent.
Once the application is filed, it will be assigned an application number and the date of filing will be stamped on the application. After that, the application will be assigned to an examiner. If there are no objections raised by the examiner, the trademark will be allowed for its publication. The application will be published in the weekly official electronic gazette of the IPOPHIL on its official website for 30 days for opposition purposes.
The processing time from first filing to registration is approximately 3 to 6 months.
Should there be no opposition from third parties, the office shall issue the certificate of registration. The issuance of the certificate of registration shall be published in the IPO Gazette and shall be entered into the records of the office.
The opposition period starts within 30 days from the publication date of the application in the gazette. The period may be extended for three (3) additional thirty (30) day periods, upon motion establishing meritorious grounds and payment of the appropriate fees.
Trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
Should the owner of the trademark fail to renew the mark within the prescribed period, the owner is given a grace period of 6 months after the expiration date of the trademark.
The official fees for filing a trademark application, without the claim of color and priority is PHP 1,212.00 for small entities and PHP 2,617.92 for big entities per class.
If the application claims color and priority, an additional fee of PHP 282.80 for small entities and PHP 606.00 for big entities.
The publication fee is PHP 2,394.70 for small entities and PHP 3,151.60 for big entities.
Requirement of Use
There is no requirement of use upon the filing of an application. However, applicants are required to file a Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) of the trademark during the third year from the date of filing or registration of the trademark. There is also a requirement of filing a second Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) within the fifth year from the date of registration of the trademark.
Failure to file the declaration of use within the periods prescribed shall result in the revocation of the application or the removal of the registered trademark from the records of the office by the director.